BIBLICAL HISTORY SHOWS THAT OUR ISRAEL FOREFATHERS WERE COURAGEOUS AND INVINCIBLE WHEN THEY LIVED IN HARMONY WITH DIVINE LAW; but when they departed from God’s way for them, they became cowardly and fearful in the presence of their enemies. This is what is happening to our once proud American people today.
The seventy-eighth Psalm is an interesting summary of God’s dealings with His people from the time of their sojourn in Egypt to the captives of Israel and Judah. Referring to an incident which took place in their early history, the Psalmist says:
“The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle.” (Psalm 78:9)
In the Scriptures the name “Ephraim” has various designations. Naturally it is used in reference to the Ephraimites as a tribe; frequently it denotes the northern kingdom of Israel; and sometimes, as it is used in Psalm 78, it apparently refers to the entire House of Jacob, which includes the kingdoms of both Israel and Judah. These people had been singularly blessed and led of God, yet at a critical moment in their history they “turned back in the day of battle.”
There must have been a cause for such unsuitable behaviour. There was, indeed, and the Psalmist states it as part of the story. They were:
“A generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God.—They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law; and forgot his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them.” (Psalm 78:8-11)
Another time was in the days of Ahaz, the Prophet Isaiah who related: